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As you might have noticed there is happening a lot within the space of mobile application development. Focusing on SAP applications and tooling there is Sybase on the one hand, on the other hand there is SAP Netweaver mobile platform, both frameworks apply to what we gently call „heavy frameworks“ – be assured you need several consultants and SAP trainings in order to establish this landscape within your company or your customer’s environment...

But there is another approach as well – it is not hyped the way Sybase is currently celebrated but for certain requirements applies much better than heading for a heavy approach. Of course you can use a sledge-hammer to crack a nut but there might be alternatives around.

During this series of  tutorials we will come up with several ways of implementing mobile frontends for your SAP system. As we know that it is not on everybody’s agenda to buy a Macbook before we actually start creating iPhone/iPad user interfaces we will show ways of using powerful HTML5 frameworks which result in 100% iPhone/iPad look and feel, have a look at the following screen, this is what based on HTML5 can be achieved:


HTML5 based Flight BAPI application running within iPhone client  

But dont be afraid – you do not need any HTML5 knowledge, all we will do is coding plain Java and trigger several Web Services. Btw., the same applies to Android applications we will show you ways of creating Android clients within minutes instead of becoming Android expert before you actually start your first application. And of course, in oft the last parts of our tutorial we will show you how to create native iPhone/Android apps.

You simply should keep in mind: this tutorial gives chance to anybody to create so called „instant value“ mobile apps – which path you follow is completely up to you and your requirements!


Tutorial Structure


 1.     „Boilerplate“: covers creation of backend web services within your ERP (covered within this document)

15/11/2010, Contact/Feedback: Pascal.Moser@resource.ch

2.     „Eclipse Connect“: Eclipse IDE will be used as major development IDE. Before we actually hook the web service into a „real“ mobile client we will create all necessary Java stubs in order to access the SAP Web Services

25/11/2010, Contact/Feedback: Florian.Mueller@richability.com

3.     „SAP iPhone handshake“: we will use the vaadin framework within the Eclipse IDE and create the mobile client which consumes the previously created Web Services

01/12/2010, Contact/Feedback: Florian.Mueller@richability.com

4.     „SAP Android handshake“: creation of mobile Android client (based on Adobe AIR) accessing SAP Web Services previously created

release date follows...

5.     „SAP native iPhone“: we will create a native iPhone client (Mac + XCode IDE required) accessing our SAP Web Service

release date follows...





Each tutorial requires certain skills, software and hardware so we will create a brief  list of requirements within the head of each tutorial. Please dont be afraid in terms of „I will fail as I have no clue on iPhone development...“, you do not need to know anything about mobile application development as we will show you during these tutorials!

Anyway, there are major requirements which should be met, you need to be familar (basic knowledge) with:

•     ABAP basics („know how to fire up se80...“)

•     Basic understanding of Web Services (SOAP)

•     Basic Java knowledge

In order to follow this tutorial you will require:

•     SAP ERP 6.0

•     Netweaver >= 7.10

Any additional software you will require is explained within the tutorial such as Eclipse, SOAP UI etc..





Before we start the creation of  SAP Web Service boiler plate we will give you some information on what we will be implementing and we will chalk out the very big picture of what we would call the architecture behind the application.

The Scenario

People told me (as I’m from the „Java world“ and did not go through all these SAP classes) that „FLIGHT BAPI“ is something similar to what Java guys call „Hello World“ in terms of everybody knows these BAPIS and everybody has these BAPIS around on his ERP system somewhere. So we will use these BAPIS and put a Web Service interface above these so you can access these BAPIS through the Web Service.

From the SAP point of view we are done as soon as these BAPIS can be access through a Web Service, of course you can turn/cover any BAPI into a Web Service and that is exactly the idea of showing you how to do so: you will be able to publish any BAPI you want as a Web Service and of course you will be able to put a nice mobile UI on top of your Web Service – so you FLIGHT BAPI as starting point, as soon as you got the idea start applying your knowledge to customer projects...

We will do some simple calls based on these Web Services, we will trigger a flight search passing in departure as well as destination and our mobile device will display the query results:



 Enter departure and destination
Flight results provided by Flight BAPI via Web Service...
Flight details provided by BAPI via Web Service Gateway
The architecture behind


As already said we do not want to bother you with XCode development during the first parts of this tutorial – all UIs will be created based on alternative technologies such as HTML5. Please have a look into the following scribble, this sccribble chalks out the very big picture of what we will be implementing.



Within the current tutorial we will create everything which is grouped in the grey box at the bottom of this scribble. The blue box applies to what SAP calls Reverse Proxy, please do not focus on security aspects when working through the first parts of this tutorial series now – we will cover security aspects in a dedicated tutorial! We simply refer to the blue box as „Java client layer“, the blue box is used in first place for generation of HTML5 through frameworks such as vaadin & co...

No that you got the big picture it’s time to get the grey box working – so let’s roll up one’s sleeves and create some Web Services within our ERP!



Unfortunately using images within SAP blogs is pretty nasty and takes a lot of time - nothing you should care about, but reason enough for us to reference the article as a PDF doc, the PDF mirrors the whole part 1 of this tutorial, whole article is hosted at: